Written by Molly Krancari, E.Tiffany Prescott, and William Pinnock

Last week, over 1,000 people met in Washington D.C. for the two-and-a-half day PCORI Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, “Delivering Results, Informing Choices,” established a framework for attendees to discuss trends in patient-centered outcomes research and folks across the health care industry—scientists, patients, providers, and payers—were able to connect.

Lori Ferro, Project Manager at University of Washington (left), and ADVANCE Scientific Manager, Molly Krancari (right).

Vance and I met with other PCORnet project managers and directors with the goal of building relationships, sharing best practices and challenges across the network, and discussing possible collaborations across our networks,” Molly Krancari reports. As the ADVANCE Scientific Manager, Krancari is responsible for managing the PCORnet and ADVANCE research portfolio, which includes the coordination of the ADVANCE Scientific Oversight Committee (ASOC), which determines the scientific and operational feasibility of research proposals.

As part of her role, Krancari is responsible for building relationships across PCORnet and both her and Vance Bauer, ADVANCE Project Director, felt they would like to keep the conversations from the PCORI Annual Meeting going. Krancari remarked, “We hope to be connecting with these networks in the near future to discuss research collaborations,” adding that the chance to connect with other PCORnet project managers and directors was a highlight of the conference.

Alan Alda presents “Improving How We Talk to the Public about Science and Health.”

Keynote speaker, Alan Alda drew from his experience and commitment to broadening the public’s understanding of science in a talk titled Improving How We Talk to the Public about Science and Health. “All three plenary sessions were engaging and inspiring but Alan Alda’s was the highlight,” Krancari exclaimed. “His talk was hilarious and provided a variety of improv examples by calling innocent bystanders up to the stage to participate in exercises.”

Alda’s life passion is science communication— so much so that Stony Brook University created an institute named after him called, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The Alda Center Team travels the world teaching clinicians and scientists to be more empathic by using improvisation techniques. In his talk, Alda stated, “Effective science communication happens when we listen and connect. It happens when we use empathy. Communication is headed for success when we pay more attention to what the other person is understanding rather than focusing solely on what we want to say.” Krancari encourages others to learn more about Alda and the work of the Alan Alda Center at www.aldacenter.org.

When asked about what she’s excited to bring back home to the ADVANCE team, Krancari said, “I attended a fascinating session titled PCORI’s Data Sharing Initiative.” PCORI is currently conducting a pilot project that brings together several research awardees and two data repository organizations with the intention of having awardees deposit their study data and data documentation in one of the repositories.

They plan to take lessons learned from this pilot project to inform a new policy for sharing the data generated by PCORI funded studies. The new policy will be available in spring of 2018. “I believe this is an amazing move toward transparency and open science. I look forward to reimagining how we do research and what we make available to the public. I believe this a giant step forward,” Krancari says of the project.

Overall, the 2017 PCORI Annual Meeting was a successful and engaging conference; from the informative data sharing sessions to the wonderful Alan Alda, this year’s conference will be a tough one to beat. We look forward to reconvening at the 2018 PCORI Annual Meeting to further advance our goals in patient-centered outcomes and research.

You can watch recordings of the sessions here.

About the Authors

Molly Krancari is a Research Associate at OCHIN Inc., a non-profit healthcare innovation center in Portland, OR. She has a Master’s of Public Health in Global Maternal and Child Health and an MA in Cross-Cultural Studies focusing on gender and international development. Her areas of expertise include global health, applied research, qualitative methodologies and program evaluation. Prior to OCHIN she worked as a Public Health Advisor for a small private hospital in Malaysia and prior to that was a Project Analyst at Loma Linda University where she conducted an evaluation on local and global community engagement.

E. Tiffany Prescott is the Research Front Door Coordinator at OCHIN, Inc. She graduated from Portland State University in 2015 with a degree in Community Health Education and is currently pursuing her Masters in Communication at her alma mater in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Race, and Nations. Ms. Prescott is dedicated to improving her community and creating social change and hopes to continue her work in science communication upon graduation. She has experience working with several non-profit organizations and currently serves as Board Secretary for Hatch Innovation. She is also responsible for the largest Menstrual Hygiene Day event in the country: PDX Red Party. 

William Jacob Amadeus Pinnock is a Research Coordinator at OCHIN where he assists with the creation, execution, and dissemination of research projects. He graduated with an MS in Communication from Portland State University where he focused on health communication, rural mass media, and qualitative research methods. He has experience working in commercial health insurance, healthcare research, and radio broadcasting. In his spare time, he is an Adjunct Instructor at Portland State University helping students master the art of public speaking.